Sally Rogers Culley Featured in Orlando Sentinel’s “Ask a Lawyer” Column

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Orlando Sentinel readers have the opportunity to seek advice from legal professionals by submitting questions to the newspaper’s “The Law & You” section. Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell Partner Sally Rogers Culley was a featured attorney in a recent “Ask a Lawyer” column.

 

Culley answered a reader’s question about the legality of a store employee asking for photo identification from a customer making a credit card purchase.

 

The reader’s question and Culley’s response are posted below. To view the entire column, click here (link to http://www.orlandosentinel.com/services/newspaper/printedition/monday/goodliving/orl-askalawyer1208may12,0,3885978.column).

Orlando Sentinel

“Ask a Lawyer”

May 12, 2008

Is it illegal in Florida to ask for a photo ID?

Question:

I work for a business, and our owner has required employees to ask for picture ID with any credit card purchase, unless there is a picture already on their card. We do not have a debit machine so we cannot verify our customer's identity that way. I have had a few customers tell me that asking for their ID is illegal. I was wondering if there is any truth in their allegations or if they are just mad that they have to scrounge up their ID.??

-- MONIQUE DAVIS, Orlando

Answer:

 

This is an urban myth. It is not illegal in Florida for a merchant to ask a customer for photo identification when using a credit card. However, a merchant's agreement with the credit card providers (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, etc.) may prohibit it from conditioning acceptance of the credit card upon the customer providing identification. In other words, if a customer refuses to show identification, the merchant still must accept the credit card. There are some exceptions. For example, if the merchant has reason to question whether the credit card is being properly used, the merchant is permitted, and usually even required, to request photo identification.

Something else to keep in mind: in some states, it is illegal to write down identifying information (telephone number, home address, drivers license number) on a sales receipt. Though this is not illegal in Florida, there is no need for a merchant to write down such information. Accordingly, if a merchant does request photo identification, the ID should be used solely to check the photograph and signature. A customer should not allow any other information from the ID to be written down.

-- SALLY ROGERS CULLEY

   Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell, P.A., Orlando

 
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